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Prevalence and awareness of oral manifestations among people living with HIV/AIDS attending counselling and treatment centres in Iringa Municipality, Tanzania

Ibrahim E.A.T. Mwangosi
Julitha M. Majenge


There is limited literature on the magnitude of oral manifestations and the extent of awareness on its occurrence in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Tanzania. The objective of this study was to assess the magnitude of, and extent of awareness on oral manifestations among PLWHA attending counselling and treatment centres (CTC) in Iringa Municipality in south-western Tanzania. A convenient sample of 200 PLWHA was included in the study in two CTC. Each participant was interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Thereafter a quick clinical oral assessment by a dentist was performed to record any relevant abnormality. The mean age of participants was 38.4 ±11.9 years. Females were 63.3% and most of the participants had primary education (53%). Generally, 23.5% of the PLWHAs had at least one oral manifestation, with statistical significant difference across age groups. Clinical manifestations observed were mucosal ulcerations with or without severe periodontal lesions (7.0%), angular chelitis (7.0%), oral thrush (6.5%), Kaposi’s sarcoma (1.5%), and hairy leukoplakia (1.0%). The majority (89.5%) of the PLWHAs had sound awareness on clinical oral manifestations with significant statistical difference by educational status – the strength increased linearly with educational status. In general, 77.0% of the PLWHAs had healthy oral cavities. In conclusion, the prevalence and severity of clinical oral manifestations among PLWHA was low and the majority of PLWHA were aware of the conditions. However, it is recommended that more intensive studies should be carried out to assess the standard strength of the public awareness on oral manifestations among PLWHA and ascertain the magnitude of the problem and facilitate appropriate control strategies.

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eISSN: 1821-9241
print ISSN: 1821-6404